Corporate Renewal

Read the case titled “Harry Lewis: Ethical Manager” in A Casebook on Corporate Renewal. Then, answer the following question:

  • When should the shift to the creditor point of view have taken place?

In addition, review the following quote published in The New York Times on August 10, 1986:

“USS [U.S. Steel] is now facing an economic showdown with nonunion competitors, bankrupt competitors and foreign competitors. There are not enough seats in the steel lifeboat for everybody. When the union puts you out on a long strike, I hope you understand the risk that puts your jobs under.” — J. Bruce Johnston, an executive vice president of USX Corporation, in a letter to employees of its USS division, which closed its plants when a contract with the United Steelworkers expired.

Based on this quote, answer the following questions:

  • Is it ever possible to convince a troubling element, in this case the labor union, but in other cases suppliers or partners, that unless they relax their demand everybody will suffer?
  • In the mid-1980s, what is the long-term play for the steel industry?
  • Is steel one of those industries that America cannot compete in?

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